Jason Dalton, the 45-year-old Uber Driver charged with killing six people in a series of shootings in Kalamazoo, Michigan, has blamed the Uber app installed on his phone for the shooting. Dalton, who allegedly went on a murderous rampage on February 20 that ending up in the deaths of six people, claims he was being “controlled by the Uber app” through his cellphone, The Detroit Free Press reports.
Dalton made the ludicrous claim in a series of interviews he had with police officials hours after he was arrested after the shootings. He claimed the Uber app installed on his iPhone “took over his mind and body” and directed him to carry out the shootings. He claimed that it was the app that directed him to the locations of his victims and told him when to shoot people. Dalton also claims he was “directed by the app” not to get involved in a shootout with the police when he was arrested. The new revelations come from a report released by documents released by the Kalamazoo County sheriff’s office on Monday.
Dalton, when asked to explain his claims, reportedly told authorities the following.
“It feels like it is coming from the phone itself and he didn’t know how to describe that.”
Jason’s wife, Carole, who has since the shootings filed for divorce, told investigators about the things he said to her on the day of the shootings. The police report adds that Dalton, on the day of the incident, had told his wife he wouldn’t be able to return to work and that their children couldn’t go back to school. He also told her to watch the evening news, after which she would “understand everything.”
According to Dalton, when he opened up the Uber app on Saturday, February 20, a symbol, which he believed was the Eastern Star, popped up on the phone screen. He claimed that the symbol resembled the devil’s head and that he wasn’t in control of his body since that moment. An excerpt from the report provided more details.
“Dalton described the devil figure as a horned cow head or something like that and then it would give you an assignment and it would literally take over your whole body.”
When asked about the bulletproof vest he was wearing during the shootout, Dalton once again blamed the Uber app for it. He claimed it was the app that made him wear it and that he had actually bought the vest for this son.
When Dalton was questioned on how and when the app takes over his mind, Dalton said it happens when “the Uber app turns from red to black.” When the app turned back from black to red, he was back in control of his body, he claimed.
The Kalamazoo shootings claimed the lives of six people who were identified as Richard Smith, 53, and his 17-year-old son, Tyler. Four elderly citizens, identified as 60-year-old Mary Jo Nye, 68-year-old Barbara Hawthorn, 74-year-old Judy Brown and 62-year-old Mary Nye. Tiana Carruthers, the 25-year-old who was the first victim of the shooting was injured but survived the shooting. Another victim, a 14-year-old girl, Abigail Kopf, was shot once in the head and remains in fair condition at Bronson Methodist Hospital.
Uber had earlier confirmed that Dalton had passed their background check for drivers and that they were “horrified and heartbroken at the senseless violence.” The company refused to comment on Dalton’s fresh claims in which he blames the Uber app for the shootings.
Dalton has been charged with six counts of open murder and two counts of assault with intent to murder. This is apart from eight counts of use of a firearm in the commission of a felony. If he is convicted of all these charges, he faces a life sentence in prison with no chance of parole. Since Michigan does not have death penalty, he will most likely spend the rest of his life in prison, if convicted.
[AP Photo/Carlos Osorio]